North Yorkshire receives £11m government support for rural broadband
North Yorkshire has been awarded £11.15m to bolster its connectivity infrastructure.
The money will go towards the recent £20.5m deal the authority signed with BT to complete phase three of its Superfast North Yorkshire initiative. The first two phases of the programme have taken superfast broadband penetration to almost 90%, and the goal of the third stage is to ensure 95% of buildings have access by June 2021.
Councillor Don Mackenzie, executive member for access, said: “High-quality digital infrastructure is essential for business success, for so many needs of households, for education, and for health and social care. It is for those reasons that North Yorkshire County Council prioritises excellent broadband provision and also improvements in 4G mobile phone coverage.”
The £11.15m funding adds to a sum of £15.1m awarded by the government to North Yorkshire to install a full-fibre network to link 391 public sector buildings across the county.
Mackenzie added: “All the district councils supported our bid and it is expected that this money, the second highest amount given to any local authority, will extend the reach of high-capacity fibre networks to public sector sites across the county.”
Rural affairs minister Lord Gardiner said: “Rural areas should not be left behind in the connectivity slow lane, missing out on the opportunities high-speed broadband can bring. The funding made available through the Rural Broadband Infrastructure Scheme champions our countryside communities and businesses by opening up access to broadband of at least 30 Megabits per second, in some of the most hard-to-reach areas.”